Cyber Alert for A&E Firms: 50+ Firms Infected On the Same Day, Impacted Firms Down for a Week.
An A&E vendor in the tri-state area inadvertently infected 50+ A&E firms simultaneously. The malware added an extension to all files which caused the files to remain locked. This impacted over 2,000 individual computers and their linked servers. The hackers demanded payment as ransom in Bitcoin to enable the A&E firms to decrypt their locked files. Without access to CADD files, work in progress files, time sheets, invoices, accounts receivable data and other important files, the operations of the A&E firms affected came to a grinding halt for over a week in some cases.
In some cases, possession of back-up files was not enough to restore all of the data. This incident left many files, in-progress work-product and different types of accounting software inoperable and unrecoverable.
Cyber attacks are increasing in frequency and Fenner & Esler has helped A&E’s focus on ways to minimize risk for these events. For many firms, this starts with obtaining Cyber Insurance which offers appropriate protection and quick mobilization of restorative resources.
According to Tim Esler, Principal at Fenner & Esler, “Unfortunately in 2019 small and mid-sized firms including A&E’s, Surveyors and Environmental Consultants are becoming a more frequent target for hackers. Despite their size, many small and mid-sized A&E firms have unrealized data risks; valuable information and generally less sophisticated defenses making the simple ‘we have back-ups’ insufficient for protection. We have spoken to many of our own A&E clients about the rising concerns of cyber security and have created a novel solution as a way to help minimize exposures and down-time through risk transfer mechanisms that ensure “post attack” survival.”
As a value added service to A&E’s, Surveyors and Environmental Consultants, Fenner-Esler has created a checklist to help small and mid-sized firms reduce the risk of Cyber Security threats. In addition to this list, Fenner & Esler provides unique and affordable Cyber Security Insurance specific to A&E clients countrywide which offers both protection and peace of mind.
The principals at Fenner-Esler Insurance Agency urge A&E firms to utilize this list to keep the industry safer from cyber security threats. The cyber security checklist can be found at www.fenneresler.com/cyber.
In an effort to ensure affordable accessibility to Cyber Insurance for all A&E’s, Fenner & Esler Agency also has released a special program whereby any firm with $3 million or less in annual revenues can secure a $1 million limit cyber insurance policy for $1,000 annually. The coverage is market-leading and has a dedicated cyber claims team in place.
In business since 1923, the team at Fenner & Esler are experts in risk management and insurance for Architects, Engineers, Surveyors and Environmental Consultants. Fenner & Esler prides itself on staying on top of the most recent developments within the built environment and sharing that news to its clients as a value added service. “We are always researching so we stay on top of the latest news topics that impact the built environment. When there is an issue, we strive to proactively notify our clients and the A&E community at-large to help prevent and mitigate catastrophic events before they happen. Bottomline – It’s just good business. We are helping our A&E clients avoid risk and mitigate claims so that they can focus on their revenue activities. This in turn conserve both time and money, while minimizing risk for all parties involved,” states Kevin Esler, Principal at Fenner-Esler Insurance Agency.